No sooner had the Israeli company MIRS launched its line of kosher telephone models that the very principle of a smartphone has been declared as impure by Hassidic rabbis. Anyone caught using such a device could be thrown out of the community.

Kosher telephones do not do very much, and even less on Shabbath day. They are equipped with address book and location software, but cannot send or receive text messages, snap photos or shoot videos. Depending on the options, connection to the internet can either be bridled to prevent access to impure sites or completely blocked. Moreover, their ringtones are a composite of religious chants. Above all, calls are very cheap during the week but skyrocket on the day of the Sabbath.

MIRS supplies the Israeli armed forces with smartphones.

Orthodox rabbis believe such devices induce the disintegration of the family and are a cause of divorce.